What is the A-76 process, and what does it mean to you?

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. -- During the next year, Nellis will undertake an "A-76" activity, which will affect hundreds of Airmen's assignments and may create new jobs for civilians.

This "A-76" process involves 57th Wing maintainers and will be facilitated by the 99th Air Base Wing's Contracting and Mission Support Squadrons. Even if the "A-76" effort doesn't affect you directly, you may encounter a similar process at your next assignment. Therefore, this article explain, what "A-76" is all about, and what it means to you.

The Air Force is always looking to reduce operational costs. Several years ago, the president directed us to reduce costs through competitive sourcing, that is, to use private industry to do work that is not "inherently governmental" or one of the core competencies of the Air Force. The directions for this competitive sourcing are laid out in an Office of Management and Budget Circular A-76. Now we just use the term "A-76" to describe the whole process. The off-the-flightline maintenance side of our 57th Wing mission is a key candidate for A-76, so the workload of the 57th Equipment Maintenance Squadron, Component Maintenance Squadron and Maintenance Operation Squadron will go through the A-76 process. This means the workload of those three squadrons will be evaluated for conversion to either a private contractor or to a government civilian organization. The A-76 process will require the contracting office at Nellis to compete the workload through a formal contracting effort.

The 57th MXG will be deeply involved by writing the statement of work that will specify what work will be competed and document evaluation criteria by which each contractor proposal will be judged sufficient to meet the mission requirements in the most costeffective manner. Defining what Airmen maintainers do and how they do it is the most critical part of this A-76 process. We Airmen don't generally have a specific contract that spells out every detail of what we can and can't do as we keep our aircraft and support equipment mission ready every day. A private company or civilian organization competing to do the same mission will require a very clear and detailed statement of requirements and evaluation standards so they can precisely propose how they will meet the contract requirements and at what cost.

Throughout this process, the 57th Wing will continue to provide the Air Force's most advanced flying training, and we'll support advanced testing of new Air Force capabilities. Even with the A-76 challenges, we'll stay focused on accomplishing these critical Nellis missions. For those Airmen working today within the three affected squadrons, some of you in positions critical to the competition will need to remain in place for the next 24 months. We'll identify these positions as soon as possible.

Rotations for the remainder of the three squadron's Airmen will continue in the normal cycle. The Airmen whose positions were previously frozen will receive assignments at the end of the competitive effort.

We have the most complex flying wing in the Air Force here, and we have the best maintainers in the world. As we transition from our blue-suit professionals to the new maintenance organization of tomorrow, we'll still be focused on flying, fighting and fixing our aircraft to win today's war and to face the challenges of tomorrow.